The following version was an earlier draft from the magazine, T Singapore (August 2019).
Paparazzi has earned itself a bad reputation in the media industry. Although much of their notoriety lies in their history of procuring unflattering and compromising images of high-profile celebrities and politicians, it is their aggressive and at times, invasive tactics that truly land them a bad reputation.
Flipping through the pages of history, paparazzi-fuelled incidents are aplenty. Investigations from the tragic aftermath of the car crash of Princess Diana and her companion Dodi al-Fayed in the wee hours on 31 August 1997 ruled an intoxicated driver and the paparazzi, who were giving chase in the following vehicle, guilty instigators of the accident. The Princess of Wales eventually passed away in the hospital. Another case in point: celebrity photographer Ron Galella was twice taken to court by the former first lady of the United States of America, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, for his incessant hounding. He was eventually banned from photographing her family.
Despite such infamy, paparazzi and celebrities still share a symbiotic relationship of sorts. The two go hand-in-hand to create buzz-worthy distractions, or to draw eyes to a particular person.
But many of these relentless photographers’ works are more than meets the eye. They hold an artisan quality, a spirit of candidness, revered by collectors and publishers alike. One of Galella’s germinal works, entitled “Windblown Jackie”, reflects the unguarded spontaneity of the former first lady as she smiles with wind-ruffled hair in his direction.
It is in this spirit of spontaneity that spurred renowned British photographer Greg Williams to photograph celebrities head-on behind the scenes of the 10th Annual Filmmakers Dinner. Commissioned for Michael Kors, who co-hosted the dinner with British fashion stylist, Edward Enninful, and American literary critic, Charles Finch, at Hotel du Cap, the off-screen portrait series, entitled “Candid in Cannes”, features celebrities in candid moments.
The glamourous dinner party celebrated the filmmaker Lynne Ramsay, who was awarded the “Annual Filmmaker Award”, also saw Amber Head, Rita Ora, Liam Payne as some of the guests in attendance.
Powerful compositions that capture candour highlight Williams’ well-trained eye for photography. The moments shared between celebrities amongst the likes of Monica Bellucci, Willem Dafoe and Andie MacDowell were photographed in monochrome, documenting a moment in Hollywood history.